July 13, 2014

Australian National University’s School of Art 2014 Environmental Studio, Crace Field Study

This past week I participated in the third field trip of the Crace Field Study program. Crace is a planned suburb about 15 minutes outside of Canberra and is currently still under construction. It was designed with the guiding principles of respecting and preserving the natural environment and encouraging residents to walk and exercise. Individual space is relatively small, but there is a large nature reserve, a bike path, a community garden, a childcare center, and an elderly living apartment complex.

This is a photograph of the city center.

Here are sample houses, two of the larger houses in the suburb.

In a field studies program, artists are asked to look and create art works in response to the environment, ultimately exhibiting the work back in that specific community. There was recently an art show in Crace, organized by the field studies program, and there will be another one in October.

Amelia Zaraftis and Hanna Hoyne have been collaborating on a project, in which they explored the area in an echidna costume.

There is apparently another creature on the way...

This tent was set up by John Reid for community engagement this past week.

This is a photograph of me inside the tent, engaging with my camera phone while John picked up some things in town. 

One of my favorite parts of this past week has been talking with John about art, aesthetics, and its public role.

Crace is located in a valley, so it is a little bit like Canberra in its geography. It is also like Canberra in the sense that it is a planned community. It feels very protected. I walked around the nature reserve, where you can see things like this:

Just five minutes from the city center.

Aware of the paradox of stepping outside of a place, in order to see it better, I walked around the edges of the suburb. These photographs are images of Crace's border zones:

Unfortunately, the construction work has created a lot of garbage, and it will take some effort to clean up the surrounding areas.

Crace is still being built, so I suppose that no one knows it very well yet. It is still growing and becoming a suburb where a lot of people and families actually live. Anyhow, on my last day in Crace, I took some detail shots, two of my favorites:

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